Erdoğan to İnce: You’ll never make it to the presidential palace
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on June 7 directly took aim at Muharrem İnce, the presidential candidate of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), accusing him of “manipulating the electorate.”
“They say they will demolish the [presidential] palace. Your leader [Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu] used to say the same thing. Then he came to the palace willingly. You will never even have the opportunity to even come to the palace,” Erdoğan said at a campaign rally in the southern province of Mersin.
He once again accused the CHP of pledging to destroy “what the [ruling Justice and Development Party] has built during its 16 years in office,” saying the opposition only aims to “return to the old Turkey.”
The gargantuan 1,000-room presidential palace was a matter of deep controversy when it was opened in 2014, with critics blasting wastefulness and lack of taste. Its construction was also a matter of dispute as it was located in the state-owned Atatürk Forest Farm (AOÇ).
Erdoğan also claimed that İnce was being “manipulative” in his speeches for saying he had a rural past and knows agricultural activities.
“He [İnce] has been insisting he is a farmer. He wears a cap, thinking he can fool my people. Leave the cap, tell us what your heart says. My people do not look for shape, they look for service,” he said.
‘Visiting Demirtaş is supporting terror’
The president also said İnce “supported terrorism” by visiting imprisoned Selahattin Demirtaş, the presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), in Edirne Prison.
“He thinks that with this visit he was doing something democratic. But it is called supporting terror, supporting terrorists, strengthening terror,” Erdoğan said.
He argued that “terrorist groups” created “chaos” after the June 7, 2015 election in which the AKP lost its majority in parliament.
“After June 7 trouble was created because none of the political parties had a majority to form the government. Have you heard in any CHP speeches any indication of the struggle against terror or FETÖ? No. Because they are all together,” Erdoğan said.
“Today they are trying to corner us by using the economy as a weapon. They presented some people, hoping that Turkey would surrender. Today there are some who are presented as presidential candidates. Do you think they are able to take Turkey to the future?” he added.